Monday, August 03, 2009


I think I've pretty much finished going threw all my old clothes and altering them in some way to make them new. This shirt was one of Youssef's shirts that was a bit small for him and he never wore. Elastic is so fantastic. I just cut the neckline a 1/2 of an inch from where I wanted it to end up, folded it down that much (just once) and top stitched the elastic on it. Just stretch the elastic slightly while sewing a straight line and then go back over it with another line on the other edge of the elastic (I used 1/4 inch stuff) to give it a polished look. If there is too much gather in one or two spots just snip the elasic at that place and it will loosen it up just enough. I did the same thing on the sleeves (make sure you wrap the elasic around your arm first to get the right length as you don't want it to be uncomfortably tight)
The bottem hem is shorter than it was for my husband. Also an easy thing. I turned it under twice and top stiched it twice to match the two lines on the elastic parts. The flowers on the pocket were an easy daisy stich embroidery pattern. You can buy iron on things like that or leave it plain.

Anyway, just thought this might inspire someone to re-purpose what they already have.

A few other ideas for things - If you have a shirt with an emblem (like my husband did with a polo shirt) you can cover the emblem with a stripe or two running vertically or horizonatally (double sided iron on interfacing and top stitching) works great!

If you have a boring V-neck T-shirt you can add some elastic virtically from the point of the V down. The elasic is about 4 inches or so unstreached and again just sew a straight line while you stretch the elasic (you'd be working from the wrong side of the fabric so you can see the elasic well.. meaning that the bobbin thread will be what's visible on the outside of the shirt) This adds a lovely gather at the bust-line and is about the easiest fix that there is! I got this idea from going to a nice clothing store and examining their clothes and realizing that what they were selling for 50 bucks was just essentially a T-shirt with elasic in that one spot.

Anyway, I have more ideas and could take more pictures if anyone is interested. I like to remake my old stuff and make my house beautiful too with hardly any money. It makes me so much more creative than I would be otherwise and it's so much more satisfying that just buying something.

So yes, the shirt pictured above was a thrift store find that my husband thought he'd wear and never did. The 9 yards of elastic that I bought to use on all of my projects was only 97 cents and I used a lot less than 9 yards on this shirt. The embroidery floss was also something that I had and doesn't cost much. It's safe to say that this shirt cost me less than $2, and took maybe 3-4 hours or so to compleate it.

I hope this post inspires someone. :)


Bethany said...

I want to see more pictures!

jeremy and lenore diviney said...

I want more pics too. I'm afraid the repurposing for me will prob never happen. I just pass things to nat and she to me! everyone should have a twin for an extra wardrobe.

Rebekah said...

Another vote for more pictures!

Lynne' said...

Oh THAT'S what twins are for! I think it might be harder for me to acquire a twin though than do some sewing. ;)

Okay.. I'll put up a few more pictures. (Stupid slow dial up.)